I'm probably going to end up getting a d3100, the only thing is im not really a fan of the 18-55mm lense.. the depth of field sucks amoung other things, so basically im wondering if there's another lense that could be used in a variety of conditions that would be better and not too expensive. I was thinking about getting a 50mm but i heard the depth of field would be no good for action or landscape shots. any advice would be great, and i am on a budget
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i don't really have an answer to your question but i just wanted to say that depth of field on the 50mm would have no effect on action or landscape shots. if you want deeper depth of field, just bump up the f-stop and you'll be fine. the problem with the 50mm is more that it's focal length could be tight for some purposes, although i know a lot of people who do good photo and video work of all types with a 50mm.
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The D3100 comes with the 18-55 VR no matter what, and this is an excellent all-round lens. You could extend the zoom, getting the 18-105 or 18-200, but they are not better than the 18-55, just more zoom. You could also get the pricier Nikon 16-85mm, which is a lot tougher, but seriously it won't take better pictures. You are paying more for a nicer zoom range and stronger construction.
I'm not sure what you mean with your depth-of-field comment. If you want a more shallow depth-of-field, you could get the inexpensive Nikon 35mm f/1.8 lens. This one is incredible, but you sacrifice the zoom. Regardless, 35mm is good for most shots, and even as your only lens I would recommend it, because its really that friggin good, and way better than the 18-55.
If you really want a better zoom lens, you're gonna end up paying a lot. For example the Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8 would be your lens of choice. It's also 10x more expensive than the 18-55.
I have an 18-200 3.5-5.6 and while it doesn't really excel at anything, it's pretty good at everything. I first got it as a do everything lens and have since aquired others, but I still use the 18-200 often. I'm no expert but if you want something that will cover a wide range of focal lengths and stay fairly sharp check it out.
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